#NotYourShield: The GamerGate Saga Continues

By Patrick Toworfe – 3rd September 2014
#NotYourShield: The GamerGate Saga Continues

While nothing of note has happened on the gaming media side of events, it looks like the gaming community is once again trying to be heard. And this time, the voices come from a multitude of diverse sources. #NotYourShield is a recent trend that has cropped up on Twitter, coming from several ‘minority’ groups, including women and people of different races, claiming that they are being ignored in the conversation regarding #GamerGate.


Recent articles from the media, as a response to the community’s unrest, have included petitions to ‘end harassment’ and articles claiming that the ‘gamer is over’. More often than not, these articles attempt to frame this issue as being one of straight white male gamers, or male gamers as a whole, not wanting to include women in the game industry. Many gamers have bitten back, retorting that this isn’t about the gender of anyone and is instead about wanting legitimacy and transparency in game journalism.

The Quinnspiracy and Anita Sarkeesian incident have created entrenched sides: with one side claiming that they’re under fire for ‘being women’, whilst the other claims that this is about legitimate criticism. While I definitely believe there are some bigots out there who are genuinely sexist against Anita or Quinn, the bulk of this issue and people’s concerns lies with journalistic integrity. That, and the gaming community is tired of being reprimanded for the actions of the few horrible people.

#NotYourShield is an attempt by the worldwide gaming community to show that this isn’t just male gamers who are speaking about gamergate, and this isn’t an issue of hating feminism or not wanting women in the community. As I wrote in my piece about the inclusionary nature of gaming, this is a war against the corruption and bad actions of anyone in our game industry. So it’s good to see that various people are letting their voice be heard to stand together for this issue. Female gamers are speaking up to show that they will not be used as a reason for the gaming community to be scrutinized.

If this is about women in the industry, let's hear what they all have to say

If this is about women in the industry, let’s hear what they all have to say

Some people are claiming that the tweets are actually not coming from women or ethnic groups, and are instead made by ‘4chan sock puppets’, which seems like a very harsh thing to insinuate. When we begin to assume that anyone who speaks up against the gaming media, female game industry persons, or game journalism is either a man or a man pretending to be a woman, then we’ve truly lost sight of fairness. There are most certainly female voices in this community that are either on the side of GamerGate, or are at least trying to provide an element of fairness to the discussion, such as GamerHeadlines’ own Sarah. Of course, like with any Twitter trend, some tweets and Twitter accounts are fake, but not all are, and to deny that a female gamer can possibly have an opposing viewpoint to yours is very ignorant.

The gaming media means well, I’m sure, but the recent mud slinging and vitriol about the notion of gamer has done more harm than good, and even insulted the minority groups it claims to represent. Hence why I’ve said before that callous generalizations don’t help anything. Hopefully, this new twitter trend can be noticed, amongst the already valid voices concerning the gamergate saga.

  • Thank you for the honourable mention!

    • Patrick Toworfe

      You’re welcome. The gaming industry NEEDS to stop deflecting this and placing the blame on gamers, or making this seem like actions by ‘male gamers’. Everyone’s voice has to be heard; women, gay, trans. This is about the gaming community as a whole and they need to realize that.

      • Marcus Dubious

        Thank you Patrick for seeing that I’m not the problem for speaking out against bias. gaming is the bigger than movies and music combined so to claim it’s filled with white males misogynists is nothing but dogma used as a club to beat those who would speak out into silence.
        I will not let them demonise for the colour of my skin.

        • Patrick Toworfe

          You’re welcome man. This is for all of us, all us gamers =]

          • Marcus Dubious

            Yeah, definitely and we know this is bullshit and they are now running scared and like a cornered animal all they can do is attack.
            It’s a very short sighted tactic as has been seen with the #notmyshield hashtag. They made a very big mistake attacking us all, unfortunately they seem to arrogant and stupid to see it yet.

  • Amir

    Thanks for the article. I am not the one to push for race but a middle-eastern gamer I would like for us to push for these game journalist websites and indie conferences/competitions to release diversity figures. Because if all gamers are white males and it’s bad, why are most gaming journalists, indie dev advocates all white and mostly male?

    Again I do not want to go that way but two can play that game.

    • Shinkei DEI

      Exceptionalism my friend, these White Knights think they sit on a higher moral ground so they see fit to police and be the voice of everybody. Although to be fair, there are lots of game bloggers (I will not call them journalists anymore[no offense intended to you guys, you look decent 😉 ]) who are hispanic, middle eastern, black and asian.

      • Amir

        Exactly. I absolutely agree with you. There are many gamers from every background and I am proud to be a part of the community.

        What frustrates me are things like this. An article from Silverstring media says “We
        believe that people of colour are still at the mercy of systems,
        institutions, and architectures that are inherently set against them” (article link: http://silverstringmedia.com/blog/2014/7/4/bombs-silence-building-a-better-culture). Then I look at their team (http://silverstringmedia.com/team/), they do not look like people of colour to me. I am not saying that we should have quotas. Of course not, each business should hire the most qualified candidates. But a company whose only agenda is veiled behind defense of PoC should have some on their team.

        • Shinkei DEI

          Agree, this guys are the face of hypocrisy. I think they are trying to capitalize in the radical social justice movement, which is bollocks.

  • Stormrider

    An article up within two hours of a tweet? Talk about current.

  • Ramiren

    Finally someone posts an unbiased article about #gamergate. We aren’t misogynists, or excluding women, we just want gaming journalism to stop demonising us and stick to a code of ethics that prevents the rampant nepotism, clickbaiting and corruption we see today. Gaming is my passion and my hobby, if you want to game with me that’s fantastic, I don’t care if you’re a man or woman, all I care about is how good you are at the game!

    • It only takes a few bad apples to spoil the bunch.

      We can’t ignore the bad apples.

  • Beatnik Revolution

    The narrative of misogyny has no merit. They only are trying to distract from the blatant corruption in the industry. We wont be silenced

  • dasdisqus

    adblock and ghostery off for your site. bravo :)

    • dodoking

      I have ghostery on does that affect their revenue. I thought ghostry was for preventing trackers

      • Rebecca George

        It can block the trackers that enable ads. However they still gather data but only necessary data.

        • dodoking

          ta ghostery off it is

  • NextGame

    I for one think it’s an exciting time to be a gamer, given that we all share a hobby that crosses those boundaries of gender, race, religion, nationality, political ideaology, personal background, sexual preference, age, and any other bias by making them irrelevant as it all comes down to the enjoyment we get from playing video games, and does so on a global scale. I’m not sure that any other entertainment medium or activity has ever achieved this?

    These very same games that certain quarters love to paint as being violent, sexist, unrepresentative etc, and subsequently used to tar us, the gamer, as perpetrating those attributes simply by association. It’s an interesting contrast to consider.

    I would just like to take this opportunity to thank Gamer Headlines for their coverage of this topic so far to date as it has highlighted many salient points, and hope that you, and other similar outlets such as Gamesnosh and Techraptor gain success going forward, and conversely that those targeting the gaming community as the bad guy reap what they have sewn in the form of declining business.

  • Brit Bong

    Wonderful article. I’m glad to have found a place willing to report all aspects of an event, not just that which fits their personal narrative.

  • Adblock off.

  • Wonderful article with equally wonderful points. Warms my heart to be part of the GamerHeadlines staff *sheds tear* *flies away*

  • Jorge Cervera

    As a mexican gamer this debacle offend me, Im a gamer and I proud to be one, Im not a rape machine, not a violent person or a troll, I love women, they are the reason that I made a lot of things in my life, the reason I became better person, and this people, this glorify bloggers are telling me that Im a problem for not accepting their points of view, no way, is not going to happened, gamer and proud… jugador y orgulloso de serlo.

    • It is sad – there only needs to be a few bad apples in the bunch for this to be a problem, though. It’s up to us to stand up to the bad apples.

  • xy

    i am thrilled that you guys are trying to be reasonable in the face of this insanity and am saddened that no one else seems to want to step up with you.

    personally, i have stopped visiting any sites except here and gamerevolution. this is the only place i’ve seen rational articles and gamerevolution doesn’t really cover this stuff, they basically stay on games. keep it up guys. (and/or gals, i don’t want to get branded)

    • Patrick Toworfe

      Thanks a lot, we appreciate that

  • Billy the Squid

    Comic on Games journalism I stumbled across.

    • Patrick Toworfe

      Though it is an oversimplification (and generalization of the gaming media), it did make me chuckle. I suppose it’s fighting fire with fire 😉

      • Billy the Squid

        Yep, I think that’s really the point of the comic. To satarise the media by highlighting how transparent their behavior has been via exaggeration, to the point where we actually laugh at it. When they were the ones trying to take the moral high ground.

    • Hendrickson

      Funny even if its stereotyping the gaming media, I guess that is how many feel about the topic. The headline at the bottom…oh my.

  • Lars Anderson

    A well deserved applause for those women standing up to the rabid SJW bullies. The amount of demonizing and slander the press is throwing at gamers is downright disgraceful. These corrupt urchins have to clean their own dirty laundry before they get to tell the rest of us how to behave.

    • …And then you do exactly the thing being denounced.

  • pobilo

    It’s funny that some people think 4chan would have to fake something like this. There is every kind of person you can imagine on 4chan, it is the most diverse community I’ve ever seen. One of the reasons efforts like this are basically unheard of is because it takes something huge to pull together all the subsets and get things rolling collectively, to do that and team up with Reddit and tumblr at the same time is something I would’ve thought impossible before this. The fact this alliance is holding together week in and out is damn near historical.

  • Thank you for taking the unbiased approach to this entire debacle. It’s nice to see that some people still have journalistic integrity.

    So glad I found your site, it’s become my go to site for any gaming news, and I don’t feel like I’m hated for enjoying games here.

  • CarbonRevenge

    A website that isn’t ignoring the sega/trying to save face? And actually writes a well informed article?

    Bravo. Great read.

    • JohnnyAppleseed

      They have had several unbiased and informed articles on this from both male and female perspectives. I’ve had to pinch myself several times because I thought surely I feel asleep from a night of heavy binge drinking and it must be a dream. =P

      • CarbonRevenge

        Noticed that.

        New favorite site.

  • PHWOAR. You win, GamerHeadlines.

  • Steven

    as a Gay Person . thank you so much

  • Rebecca George

    Best article I’ve seen.

  • Lenny

    100% based

  • Kyrox

    I was genuinely worried about this website after the last biased article stating that “honestly, there has never been a worse time to consider yourself to be gamer”, but I’m coming back after reading this.

  • Rob S.

    Yet another reason why I’ve limited the number of video games websites I’ll go to for news, from now on. Gamer Headlines, once again, covers this issue with a balanced mindset.

    A common trend I’ve been seeing with your articles is that you do not resort to name-calling. I never feel as though I’m being looked down upon for not only liking video games but fitting a certain image based on my race, gender, etc. Video game “journalists” from other sites have to agree that the gaming audience is diverse and people from all walks of life are getting sick and tired of having these “journalists” try to use them as a way to avoid any true criticism.

    Keep fighting the good fight, Gamer Headlines. Patrick, you’ve done very well here.

    • Patrick Toworfe

      Thank you. I’ve been disheartened by the amount of vitriol from the gaming media. If the game devs handled PR the way the journalists have, this industry would be going down. Can you imagine, if Ubisoft, with all the crap they’ve been through, responded to gamers by saying ‘Lol, get over yourselves guys. This is just a silly ‘gamer’ problem, go out in the real world’.

      Seriously, the way this has been handled is immature and unfortunate. Thing is, nobody really wants to keep fighting and no one wants anyone’s livelihood ruined. We want to go back to things being about games and gaming, but not until the gaming media is honest and upfront with us, stops deflecting or putting the blame on us, and stops ignoring minority groups whenever it tries to weave a narrative. Once we’ve all discussed this on a civil level, then we can accommodate for everyone’s tastes; agree to disagree. The ‘SJW’s the feminists (or perhaps the rad fems I should say), the trolls and whatever else can all got their separate ways but still have a gaming community left standing for everyone to benefit from.

      I firmly believe that #GamerGate is about neither divisiveness or bigotry; it is about unification and a quest for honesty. We don’t have to like Polygon or Kotaku, but they can’t keep lying to us. At the end of the day, we’ll choose what media to consume and we’ll continue to buy whatever games we want, but gamers, the community, the industry and the media need to find equilibrium. it’s necessary.

      • I love videogames

        Thank you, these are tough times for everyone were they have to choose standing for what they believe in or risking losing friends, connections, and some their job and more. Not everyone can afford to take those risks and many that stood up for whats right had to pay for it, but im sure when this whole thing is over those who lost anything form this will be rewarded by the community with new jobs or the recognition they deserve. And those that threated or blackmailed others into attacking others… well, im sure the graphics regarding page views and news of sponsors getting the fuck out from there speaks volumes about the consequences, and thats just what has happened in just a few days.

        • Patrick Toworfe

          Yeah it’s been a razor’s edge for everyone. But I feel like we on the site were able to comment on it because we’re not part of big corporations or have to worry about big public outcries. Even myself; i’m infamous on twitter for long rants about ‘social justice’, but I always keep it out of my writing. I try to be professional and balanced, so I hope that’s come through in my articles.

  • Anonymous

    I’m just stopping in to show my support. I’ve been iffy about other gaming sites for a while now, but after this whole #gamergate thing came to light I’ve been actively boycotting the sites that have been shown to be involved in this or are only willing to cover the story with a bias.

    Your site is one of the very few that is willing to cover the issue as it actually is, without bias, covering both sides of the stories. For that alone you’ve gained a dedicated reader. This isn’t going away any time soon and you’re helping to give a voice to a side of this that has been largely ignored and marginalized.

    I just wanted to say thank you for this article and thank you for maintaining your journalistic integrity throughout this entire incident. I hope you will continue to cover this just as fairly as the situation develops.

  • Dumbass

    lol? they named the hashtag and gave it a definition. they didn’t fake every single account who agrees with it, you dumbass biased fraud

  • Patrick Toworfe

    Anyone could’ve posted that. Some ‘anonymous’ person on 4chan posting about #NotYourShield doesn’t mean he/she was the origin of the trend.

    And let’s for a moment assume that they are; is 4chan magically responsible for all the people worldwide supporting the cause? Like Anita martyring herself for diversity awareness, 4chan kinda did the same. Just like with how they supported The Fine Young Capitalists.

    Also, just to point out: 4chan is a MASSIVE internet picture board, with several categories, sub-categories, and thousands of users. They are not a collective hive mind of samey people. People on there could be anyone. So the people who’ve supported TFYC and/or created this new twitter trend are a force for good. Please, don’t try and weave a narrative out of magical cloth.

  • Guest

    This image made me smile.

    • StrongStyleFiction

      Kotaku should have taken a nosedive into irrelevancy years ago.

  • John Cool

    lol feminists in a nutshell. A girl can’t possibly disgaree with me so it’s a fake account.

    • Uhh, no.

      A quick check of Fox News will show you that women do in fact deny each other the right to respect and equality. They’re a minority.

      But hey! You can just own that ignorance.

      • Patrick Toworfe

        Yeah guys, keep it clean. This isn’t about feminism (as I’ve said before), this is about bigots and douchebags of the highest variety, on both sides of the equation. Anyone with a twitter account and/or wordpress skills can spew vitriol, whether they call themselves ‘feminist’, ‘SJW’ or ‘game journalist’. No one is above reproach, but we gain nothing from generalizing. Civil discussion everyone.

        • …Says the guy who only uses ‘feminist’, ‘SJW’ or ‘game journalist’ in his list?

          You are not civil.

          • JohnnyAppleseed

            Hes not civil because it wasn’t a complete list of everyone on the planet? You were saying something about ignorance I believe.

          • David Gray

            Don’t forget.
            Identity doesn’t matter.
            As long as you are a female feminist.
            They can never do any wrong, because equality,
            Unfortunately, Crissa is the majority of the SJW side.
            If they can lose a bleeding heart socialist like me, they don’t deserve credence.

          • Patrick Toworfe

            It was a shortlist for the sake of example. You realize I’m trying to appease you guys right? There’s no need to lash out.

    • Ben (Broken)

      Normally I concur but with people on our side like Sarah and Christina Hoff Summers perhaps it is time to be open to the possibility not all feminists are alike. Granted, I prefer the term “egalitarian” but if these women are going to be kind enough to help out I will not take their generosity and courage for granted.

      • Patrick Toworfe

        Well said. We need everyone to work together. No more dividing lines.

      • StrongStyleFiction

        There have been three distinct waves of feminism with a fourth and probably fifth quickly approaching. Like all things, feminism has been a reflection of the era and our era is in flux politically. Feminism means different things to different women. It’s not as strictly defined as some think it is or like to pretend it to be.

        • David Gray

          I think the key is Sarah and Christina Hoff Summers would NEVER say “you’re either a feminist or a bigot”
          The majority of feminists and their allies still do.
          Justtake a look at the atheist+ debacle (and how quickly “you’re either with us or against us” was excused as “mis speaking” and all divisiveness was blamed on none feminists)
          Unfortunately, it is feminists giving feminism a bad name, and we can only hope for more Sarah’s in the world.

  • It’s funny how you use slurs independent of any actual meaning.

    But hey! Yeah, we all have our privileges.

    And yes, being ignorant of feminism is yours.

  • Laurence Tureaud

    “Fake it”? Did you even read the evidence you’re presenting? The user is explicitly telling everyone not to use the tag if you’re a cis white male. The people you claim are oppressed by us are speaking out against you. Deal with it.

  • Distance Left

    A worthwhile gaming site, yay. Finally, between all you people and gamerevolution, I should be able to reviews without SJW BS.

  • Vieric

    Good article, will be keeping my eye on this site in the future. Getting harder and harder to find a site that can keep its head on right.

  • StrongStyleFiction

    Wait patiently and a well meaning white person will be along to explain to you why you’re wrong, how you’re brainwashed and that your opinion isn’t really you’re own. It’s kind of how they operate when it comes with those who aren’t white males that disagree with them.

    • A Real Libertarian

      Too late, Crissa already commented.

  • Sean

    “Some people are claiming that the tweets are actually not coming from women or ethnic groups, and are instead made by ’4chan sock puppets’, which seems like a very harsh thing to insinuate. When we begin to assume that anyone who speaks up against the gaming media, female game industry persons, or game journalism is either a man or a man pretending to be a woman, then we’ve truly lost sight of fairness.”

    The obsession with gender throughout this whole thing is insane. I used to be a bit of a SJW myself, but it was the obsession with what people look like, what parts they have, what their skin color is, who they fuck, that turned me off. I thought we were all supposed to be equal. That means that if you want equality, you’re going to have to accept that everyone has an equal right to speak. It means that you don’t condemn someone for something they can’t help, which is what started the SJW nonsense in the first place: prejudice based on things people can’t help. And it’s absolutely sickening to see a community that supposedly looks out for others and supposedly wants equality, but doesn’t even know what equality means.

  • Aries Zeigald

    Hey guys, keep up the good work. Just another gamer (and proud to be one) here that wants to let you know that you have my traffic.

    These “journos” can try to bully us as much as they want, but at the end of the day we’re the ones who will decide which media to consume and what games to buy.

  • Dehydration

    Keep on rolling, dude. It’s great to see all these articles from smaller sites do far better reporting than any of the big sites combined.

    If all goes well, let’s hope for a massive upheaval in where readership goes. I for one am going to sites like yours – places with the gamer’s best interests taken to heart.

    • guilherme

      i think that when they said indie games would save the industry,i think they meant indie journalism gaming

  • android138

    just two weeks ago i was commenting at ign how this is the worst generation of gamers ever! but….now i feel a connection with gamers i have never felt before. it’s sad with all the chaos going on in the world, gamers are the ones to unite.

  • Kenny Spence

    Finally a new place for some unbiased, agenda free video game news. IGN is on my shit list, you’re moving up into the top.

  • PA Rao

    The first use of #notyourshield was on sept 2nd. https://twitter.com/Ninouh90/status/507019008009195520

    That post is clearly timestamped Sep. 3rd. False-flag fail.

  • Steven Simmons

    This and the Slate article are really the only two pieces I’ve read that aren’t demeaning or degrading to gamers.

  • Dawn Blast

    Aaaaand Adblock is turned off and bookmarking.

    • Shadowpaint

      Same here.